The future of music

Study by IFPI suggests how music lovers feel about generative AI

November 27, 2023
Generative AI
Source: Leonardo AI

Key takeaways

  • IFPI study reveals music lovers think human creativity is relevant to the creation of music.
  • 76% of fans believe that AI shouldn’t use or consume an artist’s music or vocals without consent.

The ongoing discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence’s integration into music has caused controversy.

Some people think AI will eliminate the creative element in music making; they see future music production as redundant and lacking the artistic innovation that comes with a human touch.

One group views artificial intelligence (AI) in music as an exploration that has excellent potential to help musicians and music lovers earn more money from their craft. 

The music industry isn’t the only place heated by the debate around AI. Initiatives such as Sport, Finance, and Health presently have their share of this unending wrangling. Beyond the discussions, the goal is to ensure the world retains its ingenuity and not exchange progress for regression. 

To shine more light on this, IFPI organized a survey to find out what music lovers across the globe feel about the place of artificial intelligence in the creation of music. The survey comes from the forthcoming Engaging With Music 2023, IFPI’s global report examining how fans around the world engage with and feel about music. 

The report, hailed as the most comprehensive music research and the most thorough explanation of fans’ opinions regarding music and AI, received responses from more than 43,000 people across more than 26 countries. A few sections of the report were new. including one of the biggest topics of contemporary technology in 2023, artificial intelligence. 

The study considered the challenges and opportunities that the music industry presents to both musicians and the music business as artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in music production, music distribution, and royalties sharing. 

79% say human creativity is essential to the creation of music

According to the report, 79% of fans believe that human creativity is vital for music creation. They assert that music has remained enjoyable over time because of human creativity. Humans across history introduced brass and cymbals, then designed genres that have grown into unique and thrilling extensions—all resulting from human creativity.

For fans aware of generative AI’s ability to take and copy existing artists’ repertoire, permission to use any artist’s music is non-negotiable: 76% of respondents believe that AI shouldn’t use or consume an artist’s music or vocals without consent.

Moreover, 74% concur that using AI to copy or impersonate artists without permission is bad. It comes after well-publicized instances of Drake and The Weeknd impersonation cases. Nonetheless, YouTube Shorts have now uploaded celebrity clones generated through the use of AI.

73% of fans concur that an AI system should explicitly list any music it has used, demonstrating the overwhelming support of the majority for transparency.

Frances Moore, IFIPI’s chief executive, said:

“While music fans around the world see both opportunities and threats for music from artificial intelligence, their message is clear: authenticity matters. In particular, fans believe that AI systems should only use music if pre-approved permission is obtained and that they should be transparent about the material ingested by their systems. These are timely reminders for policymakers as they consider implementing standards for responsible and safe AI.” 

Frances Moore

Fans also acknowledge the necessity of establishing guidelines for AI systems; 70% agree that limitations should be placed on what AI is capable of. Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that governments ought to be involved in limiting the capabilities of AI.

Tobi’s angle

IFPI’s study provides a near-perfect insight into what fans think about AI in music. But opinions change over time. It is the dynamism that should be watched and adequately monitored. 79% might think of AI in music as the expulsion of human creativity now, and in a few months, they will react differently. 

IFPI has to carry out this study again in a couple of months to see if the reactions are still the same. The AI developers, for sure, aren’t going to let this study stop them from working on new AI tools.

Tobi Opeyemi Amure

Tobi started as a crypto writer in 2017 and became a key crypto news editor and SEO specialist at Watcher Guru in 2021, significantly boosting their traffic. He enjoys Afrobeats, R&B, and Soul music in his spare time.

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